I am hoping that Keith will write something for the next newsletter, but we have several others in the club with long teeth and longer memories, so it would be nice to get a series of historical reminiscences of the early days. Consider this a challenge!
Happy New Year. May that perfect run finally happen for you in 2007 (as long as you're not an M55).
Membership - Geraldine Russell
The invitation to become a "Local British Orienteering" member which was introduced this year has been taken up by nearly all of our former "Club Only" members. A few have transferred to "National" status and SOS is going from strength to strength. Just a few have forgotten to do anything - I am sure this is an oversight but if you do not want to renew your SOS membership, would you please let me know so that I can amend my records.
Make sure you take your Membership Card with you events to claim your £2 discount.
Fixtures in East Anglia and Nearby Regions
The information provided below normally consists of Event Date, Region (eg EA = East Anglia), Event Grade and Type (Grade 1 is highest grade, Grade 5 is lowest. Type C is a conventional Cross Country event in which controls must be visited in the sequence listed on the description sheet). Event & Location Names and map reference. Organiser's contact details. Contact details, costs, closing date etc. for Pre-entry when provided. Whether Entry on the Day (EOD) is possible and the surcharge payable. The range of courses offered. The address of a website from which additional information can be obtained. Additional information in plain language.
At Essex Stragglers' events registration normally opens at 1000hrs, starts are from 1030hrs until 1230hrs and courses close at 1430hrs.
Captain's Corner - Jenny Collyer
During the next few months I will need to start sorting out teams for our two main relay competitions - the JK at Easter and the British Championships in May. Before that we need to send a very large team to the 1st round of the Compass Sport Trophy.
Compass Sport Trophy - Sunday 18th March - Burnham Beeches
Burnham Beeches is near Slough. Competitors run a colour coded course according to their age and class (please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01787 370947 if you would like to know more). We really do need everyone to try and run for SOS at this event so that we can get as many points as possible. I don't know the closing date yet but please try to let me know of your availability by the end of February at the latest. NB - you do need to be a full or local BOF member.
JK Relays - Monday 9th April - Forest of Dean
Could you let me know by Sunday 18th March (Compass Sport Trophy Day) if you would like to run in a SOS team at the JK Relays. The entry fee is £12.50/£6 per competitor.
British Relay Championships - Sunday May 6th - Pwll Du, Blaenavon, Gwent
I will need to know who wants to run in the British Relays by Saturday 31st March. The entry fees are £11/£5 per competitor.
As soon as you know you are available for any or all of these please let me know - don't wait for the closing date. Contact me on email@example.com or tel 01787 370947.
Tiptree Heath and some coaching - Stephen Cartwright
Obviously its with thanks to John Pearce for the map, and Jack Isbester, Joan Pinch and Colchester Borough Council for their help in getting a Permanent course installed on the Heath that we are now able to enjoy coaching there. Derek Ladkin and myself had both expressed concern that the new permanent course didn't seem to be getting a great deal of use, whereupon Dave Birkett suggested a club coaching day there. Somehow we were able to whiz permissions through and it was all go. Its nice that things seem to of picked up a bit now with the scouts using it for their training too.
On Saturday 16th December, 2 groups of Stragglers met to enjoy a few hours coaching. Dave led the younger group with help from his wife and Richard Barker, I led the older one.
Just in case anyone doesn't know the sort of things we do:-
Obviously it was nice to know that the participants enjoyed it and that they benefited from it. The weather was kind if a little wet under foot. I'd even worried to the extent of bringing a large tent for bags etc, yet although it was useful as a base perhaps it wasn't needed really. We were able to enjoy the wonders of t echnology using some walkie-talkies to keep track of the children as they went round their courses etc, and again it was nice that one of the comments regarding the day was that the Safety aspects were better than expected.
That guardian of the Heath Joan Pinch enjoyed watching us too. Whether she had been up at five bird watching I dont know, but I'm glad she mentioned that at some stage some trees and undergrowth will need to be removed to stop the axe falling upon it in the future. Its a useful place for the community, it would be a shame to lose it.
Jack Isbester reflects on how much better SOS could do
Didn't SOS do well in EAGAL 2006 (the East Anglian orienteering league - you can see the results at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/n.humphries/Eagal/index.htm)? We chalked up nine Class Winners - better than NOR (8), WAOC (7) and SUFFOC (6), but was our success an accident?
I ask because of the remarkable variety of results. There were some Stragglers like Richard Bonnett and Geraldine Russell who both ran in five events and after discarding one poor result were able to record four wins, earning them a perfect 400 points. At the other extreme there were several Stragglers - mostly juniors who depend on others for transport to events - who were able only to compete in two or three of the six events. They could clearly have done better if they had run more often and might have been beaten if rivals had entered more events.
For an illustration of what can be achieved by good attendance you need look no further than my own result. I competed in all six of the 2006 EAGAL events and won none of them, being beaten by four different rivals but, because only one of my rivals ran in as many as four of the events and he did even worse than me, I am the M70 winner! There is no need for me to apologise, that is the way that the Galoppen works. It is designed to encourage participation in the Region's events and it would be good to see more SOS members attending more EAGAL events.
Competition is strongest in the M40-M50 classes. In most other age groups you can be placed in the first three and could easily win the Class if you simply compete in four or more events.
Here are the EAGAL events for 2007. Make a note of them now and make sure you attend:
Here are the 2006 positions for Stragglers -
Place in class Points Events M10 Thomas Birkett 3rd 229 3 Nicholas Harrison 7th 117 2 Alex Birkett 24th 41 3 M12 Michael Archer 8th 27 1 M14 Michael Park 1st 263 3 M16 James Park 1st 120 2 M18 James Lyne 1st 175 2 M20 Sebastian Pugh 2nd 74 1 M21 Chris Sellens 5th 100 1 M35 Duncan Harrison 3rd 174 2 M40 Bert Park 3rd 319 4 Gary Woods 21st 50 1 Robert Hammond 26th 31 1 M45 David Sanderson 3rd 328 4 Mark Lyne 5th 217 3 David Birkett 8th 142 2 Tom Collins 9th 141 2 Kevin Machin 16th 70 1 Stephen Cartwright 19th 56 1 M50 Richard Bonnett 1st 400 4 Colin West 7th 226 3 Geoff Pye 10th 151 2 Steve Robertson 13th 100 1 Clive Tant 17th 94 1 Martin Sellens 20th 168 2 Eddie Banks 22nd 72 1 Richard Barker 28th 50 1 M55 David Skinner 8th 175 4 Nicholas Pugh 13th 95 1 Andrew Cordle 18th 91 1 M60 John Collyer 8th 100 2 Robert Mann 12th 71 1 M65 John Russell 1st 363 4 Bob Cathmoir 8th 50 1 M70 Jack Isbester 1st 364 4 W10 Rhiannon Ware 5th 100 1 Stephanie Ware 12th 50 1 W16 Ellen Sanderson 1st 231 4 W18 Sarah Park 1st 150 2 W20 Emma Johnson 1st 76 1 W45 Wendy Welham 7th 148 2 Veronica Machin 8th 100 1 W50 Hilary Sellens 4th 135 2 Lyn West 5th 205 3 Susan Carton 6th 100 1 W55 Nancy Powell Davies 5th 88 1 W60 Geraldine Russell 1st 400 4 Jenny Collyer 2nd 199 2
Rodings Rally - Colin West
Paraphrasing a 1960's joke: Do you like Epping? - I don't know, I've never epped!
Having raised the subject of a family attempt on the short option at the Rodings Rally several times during the year, I decided that the lack of a straight refusal was as close as I would get to Lyn agreeing to risk a few hours of marital strife in the dark and cold of Epping Forest - so we entered with four days to spare, on the short event (6 miles).
This year's event was the fiftieth, so the first one comfortably predated organised orienteering in the UK. The map is now the 2000 version by John Pearce of Chig, three colour vegetation and 1:20,000 scale. Precision orienteering it ain't, but with the inspiration from knowing that Bert Park with experience and a strategy can successfully find the controls rapidly (khaki tents pitched usually in featureless woodland, often the thickness of 'slow walk' sometimes with accompanying brambles) we started at 22.38 to solve the multiple choice questions that would give the map references of the checkpoints.
Red Deers River? proved to be an anagram of Verderers Ride; Hi-de-hi with Den and Deb - Debden Campsite. No ambiguities this year, which have been my downfall in the past.
After plotting the four checkpoints and the finish, we set off on the six mile course with aims of finding attack points. Borrowing the daughter's halogen headtorch was a good idea - five million candle power changes the nocturnal into Apollo's chariot. First check - spiked it. Second one - bit of a hunt with several other teams, but no real problem. Third check - missed it - where are we now? OK relocate to the Campsite and back up from the NE corner and got it. Time looking good - we'd set a backstop of four hours at which to retire, so far it had taken just under two hours. Long leg to number four, good bearing in for 100m from attack point and got it in one! Now just the long jog through the night, now with an air frost, to reach High Beach Village Hall 2hrs 35mins after our start - and to find many Machins tucking into the excellent array of cakes provided by the organisers.
Seventy teams took part this year, so there were plenty of head torches out in the woods, and many greetings from like-minded adventurers during the night. The Long event (12 miles) was won by Jeff Powell Davies and Russell Ladkin, breaking a long run of success for Bert Park. The extreme multi-day events had just been a warm-up for Jeff and Russ. And to add to this success for Stragglers (and ex-Stragglers), Lyn and I as Go West! won the short event.
Home for a precious few hours sleep before a somnolent breakfast was interrupted by the discovery that the Chig event on Epping North, by which we planned to see Epping Forest in literally a different light, had last starts at 11.30. Breakfast was completed in the car, and we were able to get to the start in time for our Green and Blue courses, with (for me) greater navigational problems in full daylight than the previous night. The shortened start period was due to the more convenient than usual parking at the Old Orleans pub, with no walk to the start - about 2k shorter than usual - but the pub needed the space at lunchtime for its customers.
Do I like Epping? Well, now I've epped twice within fifteen hours, yes, I can be sure that I do. And if we co-ordinated our efforts next year, SOS could make a bid for the group trophy for the highest group finishing three teams - think about it!
Suffoc knocked from top spot in Rodings Rally! - Russ Ladkin
The Rodings Rally is organised each year in November by Epping Forest Outdoor Group. Both Stragglers and Suffoc are often represented. This year was the 50th event. It's a night map reading event in Epping Forest for teams of 2, 3 or 4, with two courses:- a 5 checkpoint, 6 mile (straight line) course and a 10 checkpoint, 12 mile course with a time limit of 8 hours. Suffoc have won the trophy for the long course many times including the last 6 years in a row.
It's a different course each year on a 1:20 000 map covered in place names and for each control you are presented with three control sites designated by a grid on the map. Only one is the correct site and you identify this by solving a clue which may relate to the grid numbers, places or features on the map. Get the clue wrong and you will be searching in an empty part of the forest. Just in case this wasn't daunting enough, the control sites themselves can vary from bright lanterns to camouflaged, unlit tents in dense undergrowth.
Straggler Jeff Powell Davies and myself had arranged a training weekend for our adventure race team with our team mates Paul and Sabrina from Cambridge. We thought the Rodings Rally would give us a good night training run to test both our teamwork and navigation. So after a day spent kayaking in the Stour estuary, we refuelled in the warmth of a local hostelry with Thai food and discussed tactics.
We managed a short sleep before the start and met up with other Stragglers. Once we were started though it was far less peaceful. It was a frantic time of plotting checkpoints, solving clues and choosing routes. The first point was an anagram and well lit. After that they became progressively harder to locate. With four brains tackling the clues we didn't have too many problems but checked the coordinates carefully.
Jeff and I swapped the navigation to try and keep ourselves fresh, although that meant we only had alternate controls marked on our own maps. We knew exactly where we were going but were a bit hazy over quite where we were coming from. As we exited one of the controls, Paul and Sabrina both asked who they were following. Jeff and I both replied 'me', as we headed in opposite directions along the same stream!
This hiccup aside, we kept moving well and found most controls fairly quickly. There was only one where we were forced to relocate and search back through the forest. At one other we located the tent, leaving Paul to get the card signed and moved away so as not to give the location away to a nearby team, only to be joined by Paul a few minutes later still looking for it - sometimes you can try to be too clever ...
We arrived at High Beach village hall at 1:30am in a time of 3:08 as the first team to complete the long course but knew that Suffoc started a few minutes behind us. After an anxious wait, it turned out we had beaten them by a margin of 11 minutes and won the event. Not bad for a training run!
The 2007 date for your diaries is November 17th and more information is available at http://www.communigate.co.uk/london/efog/.
Happy New Year!
The Cold and Hypothermia - Stephen Cartwright
Apologies where people sorted this out years ago.
Apart from the Orienteering I have been involved with running clubs for a few years and over that period have been amazed at those hardy souls who take to the streets and Cross country during the winter in their flimsies, while I just look on and shiver ! To be honest I may have a slight personal health problem in that my temperature seems to run a little colder than some would say it should be, and perhaps why I feel the cold, yet even so ! Are they health gods / Are they doing themselves good in the short and longer term?
I live close to the sea and I have often taken a jog or brisk walk along the front. The North Sea can look grey green with cold at times, the waves frightening, and the wind can really blow.
During December I took one of my 1.5 hr brisk aerobic walks along the front. The wind was such that I kept away from the sea wall, afraid I could be blown off, and sought protection below. By the time I returned I was honestly very cold, even going quickly with a thick top, hat, scarf and thin gloves etc. Getting into the car to drive the short distance home I was worried I shouldn't - I was too cold to move my limbs and drive properly. My hands went strange colours when I finally got in the bath.
Last weekend to make the best of the sunny day I walked from home for 1.5 hrs again. It was lovely initially and others were out walking in their coats etc. too, yet as the afternoon sun started to go down I started to get cold again even with my clothing as above. By the time I got home I was genuinely very cold and after a little while decided to take my temperature. Its a bit of a worry having been breathing through my mouth, but my temperature didn't even register. The thermometer starts at 34.5C.
Opinion seems to be that normal bodily temperature is 36.9 to 37.5C, going up and down a little according to the time of day, eating etc.; hypothermia onset is 34-35C with the slowing of bodily functions; unconsciousness 33 to 28C; with heart failure and death possible below 28C. In terms of heat, death will probably result at 42C. Even with the figures, children and the elderly cannot cope with the cold or the heat as well as adults. A good test for littlies apparently is that their tummy is warm.
Obviously a lot of thought has gone into what we should wear when out running over the years both from Orienteering and running generally, yet to be honest I'm worried we still haven't got it right. Is a dry 37C really important for optimum health and performance?
It may sound crazy but what I think I'm learning is that I can't rely on exercise to keep me warm enough, and (unless I'm unwell) when I feel cold - I am cold, and when I feel hot - I am hot.
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